Snakes in Kenya,Facts you should know.

Snakes have good eyesight that is very sensitive to detecting movement. Snakes do not have external ears and can therefore not hear the sounds carried by air. They however have a well developed auditory nerve that responds very well to vibrations carried through the ground.
They have an excellent sense of smell. Their forked tongue retracts in to a sheath that deposits air particles collected in to the Jacobson’s organ.
Snakes can therefore smell as much as humans can. By having two branches to its tongue the snake can determine which way to follow by which side has much deposits, Amazing!

Nostrils in snakes are reserved for breathing. The backbone has more that 200 vertebrae. Humans have 26. The reptiles have no limbs, eyelids or external ears.
Snakes have only one lung. They have elongated lives and kidney. The heart is positioned near the head. I guess it explains why we hit around the head area first when we encounter one. The can dislocated their jaws to allow food to enter their mouths. The upper jaws are loosely connected to the skull to allow food enter their mouths.

Kenya Safari

Snake move in different motions.

Serpentine-the body winds in an s shape, is effective for quick movement.
Rectilinear-Moves forward in a caterpillar like motion. It uses muscular contractions and tensions between ground and body
Side winding-The snake throws itself sideways. This minimizes contact with the ground. Specially adapted by desert snakes.
Concertina-This is applied when a snake is in a tight spot. It anchors the head and the rest of the body id dragged forward.

Snakes produce different kinds of venom

Cytotoxic- Affects the cells causing tissue damage and necrosis. This is common with the puff adders.

Neurotoxic- Affects the nervous system causing paralysis, respiratory failure and stopping the heart. This is common with the cobras and mambas.

Haemotoxic- Prevents clotting and causes internal hemorrhage. This is common with boomslang and vine snake.

The Mozambique spitting cobras has both cytotoxic and neurotoxic venom.

The black mambas have neurotoxic and cardiotoxic veneom.

The puff adders are responsible for most deaths in Africa. The reason is they like using footpaths and this is where humans are too. The snakes are silents,bits quickly and retract in the same way. The adders are slow snakes and like basking in open grounds. A famous conservationists, lost her son to a Puff adder bite. The author of the novel,  I DREAMT OF AFRICA, shares has story in this book. Kuki Gallmann stays in the conservancy to date. The wildlife conservancy is home to the big five and other animals. It boasts of the largest number of buffalo in a private conservancy in Kenya.

The mamba is the Most dangerous. It is the most poisonous and fastest snake in the world.  Due to human encroachments, there have been numerous strikes.
We do not have to kill snakes every time we encounter them, If we know the facts about them.

 

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